UPDATE (1/23/15): Tom Brady Responded HERE
What really happened with the Patriots footballs in that playoff game? Did they deflate them to win? Some reports claim YES, yet the NFL says it is STILL under investigation.
League sources have confirmed that the footballs were properly inspected and approved by referee Walt Anderson 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff, before they were returned to each team.
Under NFL rules, no alteration of the footballs is allowed once they are approved.
So what REALLY happened?
Find out what the town is talking about below:
The NFL says its investigation into whether the New England Patriots used under-inflated footballs in the AFC championship game is ongoing after a report Tuesday night claimed the league found 11 balls were not properly inflated.
Troy Vincent, the league's senior executive vice president of football operations, told The Associated Press late Tuesday in response to this report that the "investigation is currently underway, and we're still awaiting findings." He told "Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio on NBC Sports Radio" earlier Tuesday that the NFL expected to wrap up its investigation in "two or three days."Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Wednesday that the Colts had concerns about underinflated balls after their regular-season game against the visiting Patriots on Nov. 16.During that game, Colts safety Mike Adams twice intercepted Tom Brady and gave the balls to the Colts' equipment manager to save -- and both times there were concerns about the balls feeling under-inflated, sources told Schefter.
Vincent said earlier Tuesday he expected the probe to be concluded by the end of the week. The last thing the NFL wants after a difficult season off the field is a potential cheating scandal that disrupts Super Bowl week. New England faces Seattle on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona.
The Patriots, who routed Indianapolis 45-7 Sunday for the AFC title, said they were cooperating with the league, and a Seahawks spokesman said the team would defer to the league on the matter.
The NFL began looking into the issue not only because doctoring the footballs could provide a competitive advantage, but because it would compromise the integrity of the game.
Deflating a football can change the way it's gripped by a player or the way it travels through the air. Under NFL rules, each team provides balls each game for use when its offense is on the field. The balls are inspected before the game by the officiating crew, then handled during the game by personnel provided by the home team.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on ESPN radio in Milwaukee that he didn't like how referees who inspected balls before games take air out of the game balls.
"I have a major problem with the way it goes down, to be honest with you," Rodgers said. "The majority of the time, they take air out of the football. I think that, for me, is a disadvantage."
Rodgers said referees have a set range in which they "like to set game balls," and that he always liked the higher end of the range because of his grip.
"I just have a hard time throwing a flat football," Rodgers said. He thought a majority of quarterbacks like footballs on the flatter side.
"My belief is that there should be a minimum air-pressure requirement but not a maximum," Rodgers said. "There's no advantage, in my opinion. We're not kicking the football. There's no advantage in having a pumped-up football."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the investigation is the least of his worries. And tight end Rob Gronkowski tweeted a photo of himself spiking the ball with the words: "WARNING GRONKING MAY CAUSE DEFLATION."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday deferred questions about the investigation, saying reporters should ask league officials. Belichick earlier said he wasn't aware there was an issue until Monday morning and promised to "cooperate fully with whatever the league wants us to, whatever questions they ask."
Belichick was fined $500,000 in 2007 for having an assistant spy on the New York Jets' defensive signals.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano said he did not notice issues with the football and didn't specify when asked whether the Colts had reported the issue to officials.
"We talk just like they talk to officials (before the game)," he said. "We have an opportunity to talk to the officials about a lot of things."
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said the balls didn't feel different than usual.
And defensive tackle Vince Wilfork seemed amused by the matter and didn't shed any light on it.
"I don't know anything about that," he said. "I don't touch footballs. I tackle people."
Colts players, among other NFL teams and Hall of Famers, expressed their feeling on Twitter...
11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying
— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) January 21, 2015
Some Colts players actually disagreed about the cheating, claiming the Patriots to be the better team...
@NFLonFOX not a story. They could have played with soap for balls and beat us. Simply the better team. We have to continue to build! #BTM
— Dwayne Allen (@Dallen83) January 21, 2015
What do YOU think about all of this??
Story still developing...
Story still developing...